June 2008 Ethical Hero – John McCarthy

Published: June 13, 2008

By Jim Lichtman
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John McCarthySunday mornings, in a quiet corner of Washington, D.C., John McCarthy gets out on the baseball diamond and teaches kids the skills necessary to deal with life – effort, persistence, humor and honor. In 2005, McCarthy was chosen by Newsweek magazine as “one of America’s best.”

“For McCarthy,” Newsweek said, “baseball is about joy and if you treat it with respect, it will pay you back in character.”

I asked John to contribute to my book, “What Do You Stand for?” Here’s just a portion –

I stand for…success over winning…asking, ‘How can I help you?’… focusing on one’s effort rather than talent…writing thank you notes… firing 3-2 knuckleballs with the bases loaded on the road… being a practical idealist… that something is not an ideal until it costs you something… writing letters to your grandmother…shining your shoes…showing up with a fungo for early work… giving someone a raise before they have to ask for one…

“…giving teenagers their first job… giving a kid in the Dominican Republic his first baseball glove…calling it a tie if you forget the score in Ping-Pong…backing up a kid when an adult puts his hands on them in anger…backing up your friends… asking yourself if you are sharing enough every day…writing a letter to your favorite college professor… working on a service project with a spiritual leader…

“…eye contact…arriving early to work to sweep up and pick up the trash…staying up late to watch the west coast ballgames…spending time working with the grounds crew…encouraging kids to eat more fruits and vegetables…being optimistic… going entire seasons without saying something negative to an umpire…doing small things in great ways…delivering more than expected.”

If all of us focused on doing just a third of his list, what a difference it would make!

To learn more, check out www.homerunbaseballcamp.com

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